Current Issue

Vision in Action 2020

The coronavirus 2 (COVID-19) pandemic has led tothe cancellation of several Vision events globally, including our own Machine Vision Conference and Exhibition.  However, while we wait for the next MVC in Spring 2021, a FREE-to-access Technology Presentation Hub will go live at www.machinevisionconference.co.uk from May 14, 2020. This will showcase content that would have been presented at the original event. More details are available on Page 5.

Business must continue, especially now that the UK has left the EU. Some early indicators could be very positive for the UK vision industry. For example, the government is encouraging employers to develop automation technology and invest in retaining staff as a consequence of its proposed new immigration policy. By restricting the issue of visas to low-skilled workers, less low cost labour will be available. Machine vision can make a massive contribution to the automation of many industrial processes, although the UK’s current track record on automation is not good.

In 2018, the UK was ranked 22nd in the world for the number of industrial robots installed per 10,000 employees in manufacturing industry. A 2019 report from the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee, observed: “The UK’s low automation adoption is part of our lagging productivity, especially for SMEs, which is preventing a much-needed rise in economic growth, wages and living standards.” It goes on to say: “Where we have a new chance to lead and succeed is with service robotics and in AI, but only if we are supporting British businesses and researchers to innovate.”

We take a good look at innovation in vision in this issue of Vision in Action. While the vast range of proven machine vision technology available could help with automation across numerous industrial sectors, innovation is key for further increases in productivity.

Allan Anderson, UKIVA Chairman